Objections made against adult gaming centre plan for Yate

November 28 2017

CIVIC leaders in Yate are opposing plans to open an adult gaming centre in the town.

CIVIC leaders in Yate are opposing plans to open an adult gaming centre in the town.

They fear vulnerable people could be drawn to gambling if the business is established in Yate Shopping Centre.

Mirage Property Services has applied for permission to use a former jewellers in North Walk as an adult-only centre, fitted out with gaming machines.

But Yate Town Council said the empty unit - vacant since 2013 - was just yards from the town’s Armadillo youth cafe, which was the key after-school and evening venue for secondary school students.

It said it was also near a residential care home for people with learning and other disabilities, who often spent a considerable time in the shopping centre.

In its letter of objection, the council said: “We object to the sort of high stakes machines this application would authorise because of their impact upon residents.”

It claimed fixed odds gaming machines were “particularly attractive and particularly dangerous in terms of addiction” to vulnerable teenagers and young adults.

It also pointed out that Yate had a food bank “as evidence of the financial stress people are already facing” and that there were two designated areas of priority social need in the vicinity.

The council said: “We can hardly think of a more prominent location and therefore a location more likely to attract the attention of the young and vulnerable.”

It called for the unit to be used for retail as the proposal, if agreed, would lead to the loss of an important primary frontage.

Documents submitted with the plan said Mirage was part of the Shipleys Amusement Centres group, which was seeking new sites after selling a number of trading premises.

The application also said if the scheme went ahead, under-18s would not be allowed into the premises.

South Gloucestershire Council will determine the planning application at a later date but its licensing sub-committee was due to discuss an application for a premises licence on November 28.